Thomas Alton Mathews (1917)


Birth06 Dec 1917 at Antimony, Garfield, Utah, USA
Death02 Sep 1988 at Washington, District Of Columbia, District Of Colombia, USA
Burial02 Sep 1988 at Brentwood, Prince George's, Maryland, USA

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Thomas A Mathews (1917) End of Life

Letter from Ilene Shelton to her family after Alton died.
Scanned, OCRed, and spelling
corrected by Ben Mathews.

September 14, 1988

Dear Family,

Finally I’m getting a few moments to write down the events of the past couple weeks . It has been very hectic, but filled with rewarding spiritual times and times being together with family

Lory left for Ricks on the 27th. For those who didn’t know dad decided last spring that when she got home from school she would take care of him and that is what happened. Lydia, Dennis and Dad were able to go to the Barker Reunion the week before on Thursday with Ann, Craig and LaVon going a day earlier, but returning on the same flight.

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Thomas a Mathews (1917) - letter to his family after the death of his wife

I guess that I have to break down and write if this family letter is to function.

I have had a cold ever since the funeral. I just hold on to make me feel miserable.

Thanks to all of you for coming to say goodbye to your mother. It made it easier for us all to endure the sorrow and we can now have some remembrance of each other.

I love you mother very much. It seems that half of me isn’t here anymore. It was her doings that you all were able to go to college, etc. When Tom was called on his mission, she willingly gave up the things she enjoyed doing to leave the home and work to help give you kids the things that you wanted but I could not afford to give you. She kept sacrificing for her children and her grandchildren until her death.

I think the greatest tribute we can pay to her is to live such lives that we will be able to go to her in the Celestial Kingdom; for that is where she is going to be.

I guess Ann and Craig are well along in their wedding plans. Carl and Susan have been in a …. (can’t read). They did go to Baltimore yesterday to take furniture and a hot water heater. I hope they make a nest where they can be happy.

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Thomas Mathews (1917)

Not sure when written. Tells of his growing up, church activity and his family life.

I am the second son of Benjamin Lynn Mathews and Esther Black. I was born in Grandfather Black’s home at Coyote (Antimony), Utah, on 6 December 1917. Shortly after I was born I became sick with the influenza that was sweeping the country in 1918; but, with the loving care of Mother and Grandmother Black and the blessings of the Lord, I recovered with no permanent effects.

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Dad or Grampa

Ilene Shelton’s thoughts after her dad’s death.

Every person in this life has something to share, As a family we are glad we have had our daddy for this additional season of time. Over the years dad has been very ill and often we felt that it was his time, but it wasn’t and wondered what was it that dad needed to do here.

One thing he has gained the past while is the ability for us to know of his love for- us . Last week he told Dennis he had a secret to share and Dennis told him if he shared it then it wouldn’t be a secret, but he had to tell him anyway and that was he loved him.

Over the many operations he has had and during his recovery period we all have known that the Lord was there and knew our dad and was in charge. We were not in control. Dad had a knowledge of the Lord and loved him. He believed in the power of prayer and the healing of the sick and called for blessings in his behalf to help understand how and why he was still here. He had no doubt that he and mother had work to do and that she was waiting for him to come. In one blessing he was told that it would seem like a very short time until they were together .

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Thomas Mathews (1917)


One of my choice memories of Daddy was when he bowled at Petworth Bowling Alley near the Petworth Library on Georgia Avenue. Gary and I would take turns meeting him there after work going down there on the bus. We would have something to eat with him usually at the drugstore across the street. That was one of the few times we ever had canned soups. Then we would watch him bowl or we would walk to the library and browse or check out books. I’m sure that much of my love for books came from those times of wandering through that library.

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